He restores my Soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
He restores my soul
In Psalms 43:5, David cries out during one of these times Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. And this looking to God to restore his soul is what these times are all about, to teach us where our help comes from. Jesus said in Mathew 5:3 blessed,arethe poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God! We don’t usually look at these times as a blessing, but these are the very times that we learn to let God provide for us.
He guides me
The Lord is the one who guides us in the paths of righteousness. God literally led the Israelites out of their old life and through the wilderness to the promised land in the Exodus.
Israel first had to leave Egypt before God could lead them through the wilderness. Abraham first had to take that step of faith to leave Ur of the Chaldeans before God could lead him on the journey to the promised land. And we must leave behind our old life, and let God take the lead before God can guide us on His path for our lives.
Paths of Righteousness
The right places
When the Bible says the paths of righteousness here, it means paths leading to the right places, the places with grass and water and the places of God’s rest and ultimately to Heaven. We pray continually for God’s guidance. (1 Thess 5:17, Eph 6:18, Luke 18:1)
David’s also talking about the right paths in terms of righteousness or right-living. The Hebrew word translated “righteousness” in Psalm 23 is the same one most often translated “straight.” When we walk in righteousness, in the Way that God has taught us to walk, it keeps us out of a lot of trouble and makes us much better able to defend ourselves when we come up against opposition.
What David is trying to convey here, is that the paths are the Righteous, Faithful paths BECAUSE of our Shepherd who is Righteous and Faithful. It’s because of His character that we know that whatever path that HE leads us on are the right paths.
Until we recognize our lost condition we will never see any need to turn around, to repent, to correct our course. Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me”. in John 14:6. There’s no way to be free from God—you are either free in God through the redemption that Christ has bought, or you’re still a slave to sin—there’s no middle ground. True freedom is only found in God, there’s no other option.
Surrender to God
In order to be guided by God, we must surrender our desire to guide ourselves. But it is when we meekly surrender, that He guides us. Psalm 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment: And the meek will he teach his way. It is the person who is submitted in humble obedience that the Lord will guide Psalm 25:12 tells us Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
How God Leads
He leads by His Word
The primary way that we receive knowledge of God is through His Word. As David says in Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
He leads by His Holy Spirit
13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
So the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth, speaking only what He hears from God above, just as Jesus did, and letting us know what’s around the next corner.
If we want discernment in our way, practice obedience in our walk.
For His Name’s Sake
paths of righteousness are the only paths He could lead us in, because righteousness is part of His character. These paths are the only ones worthy of His name.
He will not only help us along the path, but just as we have presented ourselves as a living sacrifice, He will one day present us to the Father as one of His. Jude 1:24-2524 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and [t]forever. Amen.
The 23rd Psalm is a Psalm of comfort, a Psalm that celebrates right relationship between God and Man.
In the twenty-third psalm, God reveals himself primarily as our shepherd. As we
The relationship that David is talking about here between himself and God is a forever relationship, that should be getting deeper and more fulfilling for us all of the time.
23 The Lord is my shepherd,
Who is my Shepherd? The capital LORD in your bible tells you that the word used here is Yaweh, the divine name of God.
When we read this psalm, we tend to focus on all of the 7 things that the Lord does for us that are mentioned.
But look how the Psalm begins and ends. The psalm is about God, what He does.
The tone of the 23rd Psalm is at its heart very personal. Up to now in the Psalms, God has been referred to as king, deliverer, or even the impersonal rock or shield, but calling God our shepherd emphasizes the relationship between God and us. David is thinking about the comfort and care that God gives us personally. The trust that the sheep place in their shepherd, confident that He will lead them rightly because of who He is.
Psalm 23 is a song of David proclaiming his confidence as one who has lived, having put his trust and faith in God as his Lord, and who will carry this confidence through death and beyond to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever”.
Who’s shepherd his he?
My shepherd--Personal shepherd
God is only our shepherd if we are His.
The 23rd Psalm is written from the perspective of the sheep. King David is giving us a picture of what it’s like to be one of God’s sheep. Psalm 100:2 says Know that the Lord Himself is God;It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. And again in Psalm 95:7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Calling us believers sheep is not so much a complement to us, as it is a picture of the total dependence that we have on God as our shepherd.
King David calls himself a sheep. Sure, he is King over Israel, but he is most fundamentally also a sheep, just like all believers, under the care of the Great Shepherd, the Lord. It’s important to remember that first and foremost, we are all fellow brother and sister sheep under the care of our Great Shepherd.
See God doesn’t look at things the same way that men do. God looks at the heart. It’s often the ones that people overlook that God uses and elevates because they’re not going to get prideful and full of themselves.
Shepherding sheep was the traditional occupation of Israel. It was because the Israelites were shepherds that they came to live in the land of Goshen. As we read in the Exodus of God sending his plagues to the Egyptians, we see over and over, God sparing the land of Goshen from the plagues. God made a distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians in these plagues, using the separation of the two peoples.
See this lifestyle of trusting the Lord and letting the Lord be our shepherd is going to be loathsome, or hated or disgusting to non-believers. This life we have been called to separates us, just like it separated the Israelites living in Goshen from the Egyptians elsewhere in Egypt. As Christians we are consecrated, set apart for service to God.
I shall not [be in] want
Notice that the LORD is his shepherd now—present tense. The Lord is now my shepherd, and notice that David is saying, so I won’t be in want in the future. It’s a statement of trust and faith in God’s power to provide.
“want” means a lack of something that is needed. It’s not so much that the LORD will give us everything that we desire. In Psalm 84:11 it says For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
No good thing does God withhold from those who walk uprightly, but many of the things that we desire are not good for us, at least in the way and in the timing that we want to see that desire fulfilled.
prayer is always answered. Sometimes the answer is Yes, sometimes the answer is No, and sometimes the answer is Wait.